Our core programs: Humanitarian Habitat and Design
Sanctuary from distress,
by Dr Kurt Seemann
The Humanitarian Habitat and Design project is focused on designing sustainable and effective responses to events shaping our Human Settlements. Ekistics, Complexity, and The New Urban Agenda form pillars of interest in this program.
Asia and the Pacific region have the highest number of total occurrences, fatalities and effects of natural disaster events caused by small-medium disasters particularly flood and cyclone. Data from United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) 2015 shows that in the past 4 decades there has been a growing number of small and medium-scale disasters which have resulted a total loss of over US$1.15 trillion. However this scale of disaster has received less attention from humanitarian agencies. At the same time the increasing number of natural disasters has increased the demand for humanitarian products and facilities such as shelters, communication devices, health and safety equipment, water and sanitation.
There are many types of designs for emergency shelters but most are too technical and neglect the socio-cultural needs of the occupants, which makes post-disaster life more distressing for survivors.
This project explores the concept of Humanitarian Habitat and Design as an innovative design for responding to small and medium-scale disasters, focusing on community-led design for better temporary pop-up shelter and village facilities for people impacted by highly distressing scenarios.
A technical solution for the design of emergency shelters which accommodates the socio-cultural needs of the people is proposed as well as ways to manage small and medium-scale disasters, particularly in the Asia Pacific region are investigated.